At their December 20, 2022, meeting, the Wooster City School District Board of Education approved the placement of a 6.7 mill bond issue on the May 2, 2023 ballot. If passed, the bond will be used to fund the construction of a new middle school and elementary school as outlined in Phase 1 of the Wooster City School District Facilities Master Plan.
The total cost of this bond issue is $102,086,000 and would cost homeowners approximately $19.60 per month per $100,000 of home value. However, the total net cost to homeowners would be less based on the district’s decision not to pursue renewal of a 1.1 mill permanent improvement levy that will expire at the end of December 2022.
The Facilities Master Plan, approved by the Board of Education in June 2022, calls for addressing the district’s facility needs in two phases. Phase 1 includes the construction of a new 6th-8th grade middle school and an athletic stadium with a track serving 6th-8th grade sports. A new K-2nd grade elementary school on the site of Cornerstone Elementary will also be constructed, with the intention of incorporating elements of historical significance from the current building into the new school. Phase 2, which is not included in this bond issue, calls for the construction of a new 3rd-5th grade elementary school and further renovation of Wooster High School.
“The facilities master plan was developed through collaborative efforts, including extensive community engagement and partnership with the state to meet the needs of our growing district,” said Wooster City Schools Superintendent Gabe Tudor. “As always, we seek to improve our school facilities in the most economical manner possible by using outside funds when available.”
In March of 2022, the board approved a resolution to partner with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) to receive a funding credit through the Expedited Local
Partnership Program (ELPP) that would be applied to the cost of phase two construction. As part of the OFCC's ELPP, the district will be eligible to receive a reimbursement of 33% of the cost of the new middle school and elementary school that could be used toward a new 3rd-5th grade intermediate school in the second phase of the project or offset the cost of this project. In addition, Federal ESSER Fund monies will be used to renovate the Edgewood Middle School HVAC system and add air conditioning.
“Many factors went into creating the Facilities Master Plan, including current building size and capacity, future enrollment projections, ease of student transitions between buildings and cost-effectiveness,” said Tudor. “With these building improvements, the district will have the ability to provide consistent instructional collaboration at all grade levels and be prepared to provide students with an excellent education rooted in 21st-century learning for years to come.”
For more information regarding the Wooster City School District, please visit www.woostercityschools.org.